Although it might seem like you should be able to find wood, put it in the fireplace, and enjoy a beautiful fire, it is not that simple. When it comes time to buy firewood, you need to educate yourself on what to look for and how to buy. The result will be financial savings and better quality wood. Remember, not all firewood is the same so it is important to understand what to look for.
When buying firewood, you would likely purchase what is known as a "cord", which is a legal unit of measurement that is defined by specific measure and weight regulations. In other words, a cord is defined as 128 cubic feet of stacked round wood, which could be split, whole wood, or even wood with the bark removed. In addition, a cord of wood must consist of similar lengths piled in a regular manner.
The way in which a cord is measured, which is also important to know so you are guaranteed of receiving what you pay for, is that the wood should be stacked neatly in a row or line, all the wood touching with little to no gaps. Then, you should be able to measure the height, length, and width in feet, multiplying the numbers to confirm the cord size in cubic feet. Remember, a cord is 128 cubic feet so this or anything more is fine.
Anytime you order firewood, you want to ask specific questions. For instance, you want to know if the wood will be delivered in a truck, already stacked, thus giving you the ability to measure prior to unloading. If not, the person delivering the wood should stack it, providing you the opportunity to measure it, again calculating to confirm you are purchasing a true cord of wood.
It is important that when your firewood is delivered, you were there. Although you could have a friend or neighbor receives the wood, you still want the chance to confirm the load. If you have no choice but to use the services of another person, make sure they are given a receipt. That way, once the wood is stacked, you can measure it and if you find that you did not get a cord, you have something to use for getting the problem resolved. In addition, the receipt should include the person or company's name, address, and phone number.
Now, before you use the new firewood delivered to your home, make sure any discrepancy in what you purchased and what you bought is addressed and resolved. Unfortunately, some people will find that they burn wood, count later, and find they were ripped off, whether intentionally or not. Finally, make sure you choose only seasoned wood. Otherwise, you will end up with wood that has high water content, meaning it does not burn well and creates a problem with smoke.